230528 - Old African We Guere mask - Iv. Coast.

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Old Bugle We - Guere face mask from Iv Coast.

Hand carved from a single piece of wood and other material with color pigments.

Size: 39 x 37 x 16 cm.

The present We-Guere mask with its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic facial features, the powerful additions, such as hair, a piece of fur, metal teeth, and a cloth booty on the forehead, give this mask a particularly impressive expressiveness. White and reddish pigmentation.

This type of mask appeared on a wide variety of occasions: For example, they could appear at ceremonial festivities such as commemorations in honor of an important person, at court hearings or simply to entertain the village.

The We live in the southwest of the forested Côte d’Ivoire and the southeast of Liberia. They are in fact two separate tribes – the Guere (also known as Ngere) and the Wobe – although they share numerous customs and beliefs. As symbols of societal beliefs and values, their masks reinforce respect for the rules and functioning of society. The most striking feature of the We masks is often a combination of diverse materials that lends these masks tremendous expressive force. This mask represents a male forest spirit. Formerly, bugle masks carried out important social control functions, including judicial decisions, law enforcement, criminal punishment, fine collection, and dispute settlement. Their aggressive, lively performance was intended to instruct in proper behavior, although in recent decades this punitive power has declined.

Material: wood, textile, animal hair, raffia